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First-Year Writing Seminar: Community & Collaboration

Semester and Year FA 2014
Course Number FIRST-UG399
Section 001
Instructor Margaret Galvan
Days MW
Time 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


When studying literature, we often focus on individual creators—Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes—to the near exclusion of their communities of influence. What would it mean to flip the script and concentrate on what role not only community but also collaboration play in individually-authored texts? Studying writers’ communities from the mid-nineteenth century to the modern day, we will consider how to build a canon that more fully acknowledges interpersonal relationships. We will ask what forms of writing lend themselves particularly well to acknowledging the influence of community. We will also explore the larger question of how valuing collaboration might speak to our digital reading and writing practices. We will build our own writing communities, first in a digital space where students will compose short writing assignments and comment on others’ reflections. Then, students will work through the writing process together to compose a series of longer essays around a central theme and collaboratively write an introduction that links all the pieces together. Texts may include selections from the following communities, collectives, and groupings: Transcendental Club, Bloomsbury, Harlem Renaissance, modernists, Confessional School, second-wave feminists, zine culture.


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Course Type

First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)